The Website Obesity Crisis

It has been almost five years since this presentation by Maciej Cegłowski. Since that time, the real topic seems to be forgotten.

We talk about website optimization and static sites, but we continue to forget about his main issue. Simple informational and text-based websites that are still loading 1.5-5MB (just to display news or articles).

It seems to me that with the mobile revolution (both in devices and in network speeds), the ideas outlined in that presentation have completely faded into obsolesce. Yet, the web could be much faster if we just had better tools and best practices to address the problems.

Perhaps adding that Google Maps embed to your restaurant site is not needed if the user can just get a link to it. Maybe we could find better tracking tools that don’t need to load twenty different JS scripts in the background.

Over the past few years, the results of these technical choices are clear. People decided to search for tools to remove these bloated sources. Ad Blockers continue to rise, pop-ups to deactivate ad-blockers are needed for editorial industries to economically survive.

Simply trying to discover who’s tracking us, and what data is being sent to advertising networks has become an impossible task. New initiatives, such as the Brave Browser, appeared to try to solve some of these issues. But the massive results we expect are still not there.

As 5G networks start to be rolled out world-wide (slowly), we have another great opportunity to address some of these lingering issues. The real question is… Are we going to take this chance? And when?